Railways lost Rs 314 cr revenue due to under-utilisation of parcel cargo scheme, says CAG
The CAG has found that railways suffered loss to the tune of over Rs 314 crore due to under-utilisation of parcel cargo express trains
New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found that railways suffered loss to the tune of over Rs 314 crore due to under-utilisation of parcel cargo express trains (PCET) and blamed the Railway Board for the lack of coordination and non-enforcement of the scheme.
The railways authorities had in February 2007 decided to attract piecemeal parcel traffic by providing value-added door-to-door services through private operators and evolved a policy for leasing out of parcel cargo express trains.
The CAG, in its latest report, observed that Southern Railway failed to ensure the availability of satisfactory operational arrangements for running of parcel cargo express trains with fixed path and time schedules.
This adversely impacted the revenue earnings to the tune of Rs 314.64 crore on four routes due to non-commencement of PCET, it noted.
Review of records at Railway Board by the CAG revealed that operational constraints encountered by Southern Railway were also not communicated to the Board for their solution."This resulted in failure of the scheme in Southern Railway," the national auditor noted.
"It is evident that the Southern Railway administration could not coordinate with other zonal railways for removal of operational constraints encountered in running of PCETs and thus failed to solve the issues either through coordination with zonal railways or through intervention of higher authorities," the CAG observed.
The Comptroller and Auditor General has also rapped railways for not having its own weighbridges at more than 700 loading centres which lead to the risk of revenue loss in carrying freight.
Bulk commodities such as coal, iron ore are transported loose and are required to be weighed at the originating station by weighbridges, enroute or at the destination points to plug the leakage of revenue and also to discourage overloading of wagons. This also avoids damage to rolling stock and track.
Though the national transporter has emphasised that all loading points should be covered by weighbridges for weighing of all rakes, the CAG observed that out of the total 1,176 loading points, 759 did not have weighbridges.
"Such loading points were largely dependent on privately owned weighbridges for weighing especially for bulk
consignments like coal, iron ore," CAG noted in the report submitted in Parliament.
The federal auditor also observed that there were deficiencies in the proper upkeep and maintenance of
weighbridges and performance of these weighbridges was not being regularly monitored.
Railways to a large extent neglected the testing of weighbridges. This increased the risk of under assessment of weight and likely loss of revenue.
There was also no system or procedure put in place for monitoring of bi-monthly joint inspection by Railway Board. "This led to risk of revenue loss in carrying freight," the CAG said.
More than 17 trains have been cancelled/partially cancelled by the Indian Railways due to damage of tracks and bridges at 26 locations on a 76-km stretch. Meanwhile, two trains have been suspended, leaving thousands of passengers stranded
Batting first, Railways posted 159 for two, riding on the twin fifties by S Meghana (84) and Nuzhat Parween (55).
Their bodies were found on the Majhi rail bridge between Bakulha-Majhi railway stations on Friday, according to police